Funding: European Union, Horizon 2020 Programme (Grant Agreement 816856). ERC Consolidator grant
Region: Europe
Project period: 2019 – 2024
Principal Investigators: Rubén Costa (ruben.costa@imdea.org)

InOutBioLight aims to design multifunctional rubbers with enhanced mechanical, thermal, color-converting, and lightguiding
features towards advanced biohybrid lighting and photovoltaic technologies. The latter are placed at the forefront of
the EU efforts for low-cost production and efficient consumption of electricity, a critical issue for a sustainable development.
In this context, the use of biomolecules as functional components in lighting and photovoltaic devices is still a challenge, as
they quickly denature under storage and device operation conditions. This paradigm has changed using an innovative
rubber-like material, in which the biofunctionality is long preserved. As a proof-of-concept, color down-converting rubbers
based on fluorescent proteins were used to design the first biohybrid white light-emitting diode (bio-HWLED). To develop a
new generation of biohybrid devices, InOutBioLight will address the following critical issues, namely i) the nature of the
protein-matrix stabilization, ii) how to enhance the thermal/mechanical features, iii) how to design multifunctional rubbers,
iv) how to mimic natural patterns for light-guiding, and v) how to expand the technological use of the rubber approach.
To achieve these goals, InOutBioLight involves comprehensive spectroscopic, microscopic, and mechanical studies to
investigate the protein-matrix interaction using new polymer matrices, additives, and protein-based nanoparticles. In
addition, the mechanical, thermal, and light-coupling features will be enhanced using structural biocompounds and
reproducing biomorphic patterns. As such, InOutBioLight offers three major advances: i) a thorough scientific basis for the
rubber approach, ii) a significant thrust of the emerging bio-HWLEDs, and iii) innovative breakthroughs beyond state-of-theart
biohybrid solar cells.

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